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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » Ready Player One (2018) (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Ready Player One (2018)
Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1393
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 03-31-2018 08:21 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
CINEMA: Regal Warren East, Wichita, KS
AUDITORIUM: 14, SEAT: G15
PRESENTATION: Regal Roller Coaster vision in Warren GRAND Auditorium with slope seating and a big ol' balcony
PRESENTATION PROBLEMS: There's like 30 people here snd the fucking seat kicker just HAS to sit RIGHT BEHIND ME
RATING: Three stars (out of four)

THE PLOT: Reality sucks. Wackiness ensues.

An eccentric software developer leaves his estate, including controlling interest in his company, to whoever can extract the keys in a VR video game. Our heroes are trying to figure out the clues and get the keys before everyone else, which includes a big huge company staffing massive amounts of people tasked with figuring this out (I was unclear on if this was the eccentric's company or a competitor)

I sort of found myself thinking of this as a Tron-Lego Movie mashup. The pace is pretty frantic throughout and we are absolutely firebombed with pop culture references and "easter eggs". So much so that I was disappointed when the lawyers showed up and they weren't played by the original Breakfast Club cast. (There are Breakfast Club references though.)

Those into this will probably see it multiple times just to try and catch more of the little things they didn't catch the first time around.

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 369
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 04-04-2018 02:58 AM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
CINEMA: AMC Downtown Burbank 16, evening show
SCREEN 14 - Dolby Cinema at AMC, flat (not 3D), row E near center, recliner seating, which I personally dislike (if I wanted to recline and nap, I'd stay home)
TICKET PRICE: $23.50
PARKING: Free, thankfully
MOVIE RATING: B+
PRESENTATION RATING: A+

We've been wanting to check out Dolby Cinema for some time, and tonight it worked for us. The first thing you see after walking through the video wall hallway and into the theater are 48 column speakers and 4 ceiling-mounted sub enclosures all lit up in red. Through the transparent drivers.

This room is nearly perfect, with zero ambient light on the screen during the feature, making the lack of masking relatively imperceptible. The bass was something special as I've never experienced such crisp bass transients in a room that size. Eat your heart out, Imax! The dual laser projection did not disappoint. This is the technology that's good enough for me to not miss film. The live action segments were clearly shot with film, owing to presence of grain, but the VR portions were extremely clean and clear, granting a sterile purity to the VR and a grittiness to "real life" that somehow seemed appropriate.

This is literally one of the most perfect cinematic presentations I've ever experienced. A noisy air handler was really the only fault we could find. Noovie is annoying on full screen; they should really cut it down in size for both the sake of the main show and for nausea prevention. But we arrived late enough to miss all but the last moments.

Is it worth the exorbitant price? It certainly gives me pause. I have to really, really want to see a movie to go to that much trouble and expense. So let's just say it won't be frequent. But considering all the bum rap AMC gets (and probably deserves), it's interesting that they really can get a premiere screen like this to be so good.

The movie? As profound as a bon-bon, but definitely a fun ride.

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 369
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 04-04-2018 11:03 AM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My kids are older now, so I'm posing this question theoretically.

For any of you with younger kids, or concerned for stronger content, would you agree with me that "Ready Player One" firmly deserves its PG-13 rating and, depending on your outlook on life, is NOT a kids' movie? I mean, Spielberg has never been one to avoid profanity, and that is certainly only PG-level here, with the exception of the one obligatory F-word. However,I'm talking more about the kicks-to-the-head (albeit bloodless violence), which, at a higher quantity, earned The Matrix an "R." Or how about the emulation of horror scenes from "The Shining" (including discreet nudity and the blood flood from the elevator); or the sensuality of Art3mis' slinky-dress avatar and the scene of Parzival's suit crotch lighting up from an intimate virtual caress?

I know we have wildly differing worldviews here, but surely I'm not the only one wondering if the marketing of this movie may draw more 10-year-olds to it than is healthy. Or if there is ratings creep going on, not that the MPAA has ever been consistently helpful.

Or, because of the gamification and sexualization of everything, is our culture gone?

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Martin Brooks
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 820
From: Forest Hills, NY, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 04-05-2018 12:54 AM      Profile for Martin Brooks   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Brooks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If someone takes a 10-year-old to a PG-13 movie, they deserve what they get. It doesn't deserve an R because (I would assume), the film is perfectly appropriate for 15 and 16 year olds and if it was rated an R, they couldn't see it without their parents. I remember that when "Woodstock" was rated R, there were protests because kids who were at the festival couldn't see the film.

I wouldn't take my 9-year-old grandson to most PG-13 movies. Although he's a tough kid physically and he doesn't have a problem when he reads stories that are intense, he's very sensitive when it comes to media. When he saw "The Last Jedi", there were apparently trailers that made him very upset.

But when I was a kid, I saw everything (although movies were a lot tamer back then). I remember my mother telling me she'd punish me if I went to see Psycho, but I went anyway. I remember seeing some film bio about Freud. Almost nothing bothered me. The only films that scared me even a little bit were "The Tingler" and Mario Bava's "Black Sunday", but most of the horror/fantasy films shown in the early 60's I found to be pretty lame.

But having said that, I do think the ratings board gives more leeway to mainstream directors like Spielberg and Ron Howard. I remember being surprised that Parenthood was rated just a PG-13 when it had references to oral sex. But I guess considering what has come out of Trump's mouth, it would be no big deal today,

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Geoff Jones
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 527
From: Broomfield, CO, USA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted 04-05-2018 08:08 AM      Profile for Geoff Jones   Author's Homepage   Email Geoff Jones   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I thought Ready Player One felt like it was made for ten-year-olds. The whole thing was so juvenile.

I did not take my ten-year-old because she wasn't interested, but I would have had no problem with her seeing any of the violent or "sexual" content.

It was all bland, mild, and cartoonish. Compare it to Raiders of the Lost Ark (PG): Sapito impaled on spikes in the Peruvian temple, the beefy mechanic pureed by the flying wing's propeller, or Toht's melting face. Was Art3mis' dress any slinkier than the dress Belloq gave to Marion? Was the "nudity" in the Overlook any more suggestive than Belloq watching Marion change in the mirror? RPO showed more skin (though nothing you can't see at the beach), but the scene in Raiders was far more adult, because of the power dynamics and Belloq's salacious intent. (I saw Raiders at ten, and my ten-year-old daughter saw it a year or two ago.)

However, I would have been very upset if my ten-year-old had been there because of the gag that spoiled the dinner scene in Alien, which she hasn't seen yet. Parenting is quite challenging in today's spoiler-filled world and I have occasionally been tempted to show my children movies before I thought they were ready out of fear that they might be spoiled by some pop-culture reference somewhere.

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Todd Cornwall
Film Handler

Posts: 91
From: Madison, WI
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 04-05-2018 09:01 PM      Profile for Todd Cornwall   Email Todd Cornwall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tron did it better. I feel like this movie was nothing but a rip off...so very disappointed.

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Jarod Reddig
Master Film Handler

Posts: 394
From: Hays, Ks
Registered: Jun 2011


 - posted 04-07-2018 07:01 PM      Profile for Jarod Reddig   Email Jarod Reddig   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Even though it seemed it was made for 10 year olds at times they sure threw in a TON of old references that all those 10 year olds wouldn't understand.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10727
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 04-07-2018 11:17 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cinema: AMC Patriot 13, Lawton, OK
Screen: #7, IMAX Digital, Seats K15 & K16
Format: Dual 2K Projection 3D, 5.1 audio
Presentation Problems: Coulda been a bit louder
Movie Rating: 3 stars out of 4

I thought Ready Player One was a fun movie to watch, but it didn't leave me wanting to see it again for the story and performances. It would be fun to watch it again on Blu-ray just to pause or move through scenes frame by frame to catch all the visual pop culture references scattered throughout the movie.

Spielberg has geared a lot of movies he directed or produced at kids or teens. While this movie is friendly to minors (for the most part) the huge tide of pop cultural references are very much tailored to viewers in the Generation-X crowd and even younger Baby Boomers. People my age would recognize the near subliminal placement of objects like a Colonial Viper fighter from Battlestar Galactica and a Pod from 2001 next to each other in a large hangar, in the distance and out of focus. That adds to the fun of this movie. Few in Generation Y would notice those details. How many people in Generation Y have seen The Shining?

I liked the couple references made to the Robotron: 2084 coin-op video game. That was my favorite coin-op game back then. It was pretty cool to see a working Robotron: 2084 arcade game in the background at the end of the movie.

Some of the 80's theme music choices on the soundtrack were decent, but they felt sort of like a greatest hits of the 80's thing. As much as they geared the movie to 40-somethings and 50-somethings they could have been more creative with the 80's music selection.

Parts of this story, or rather the real and virtual worlds created to support it, are a bit shaky. Throughout much of the movie I was left thinking this "IOI" company pretty much ran everything in that future-dystopia society. But some actual cops show up at the end despite various criminal acts that happen at different places in the movie. I guess they were in a different virtual world eating donuts.

The "stacks," all those trailer houses built on top of each other like a mezzo scale tinker toy set, would be real fun to see go up against the average severe thunderstorm or tornado.

quote: Bill Brandenstein
We've been wanting to check out Dolby Cinema for some time, and tonight it worked for us. The first thing you see after walking through the video wall hallway and into the theater are 48 column speakers and 4 ceiling-mounted sub enclosures all lit up in red. Through the transparent drivers.
Very few of the "Dolby Cinema @ AMC" screens have the video wall in the entry way like the first Dolby Cinema installations in Europe. None have the stealth fighter looking stuff on the ceiling either. Not that it's a big problem. All the red LED lighting and black decor in the auditoriums is a hold-over from the AMC Prime concept.

One thing that does bug me is apparently none of the Dolby Cinema @ AMC screens ever show any movies in 3D, despite how much better two Christie 6P laser-based projectors could play 3D content than a single projector system or two xenon-based projectors. All shows are just 2D. Does anyone know why?

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Jarod Reddig
Master Film Handler

Posts: 394
From: Hays, Ks
Registered: Jun 2011


 - posted 04-14-2018 05:34 PM      Profile for Jarod Reddig   Email Jarod Reddig   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I spoke to a Dolby Rep after a Dolby Atmos screening of Brave in around 2015 I believe , we talked about the upcoming Dolby Cinema layout that was coming. I spoke of being excited for 3d in such a format and he said, and I quote, "those involved with the design of Dolby Cinema DESPISE 3D and don't get your hopes up." I didin't think much of it then. Maybe he was serious. I then filled out a questionaire about my reaction to Dolby Atmos.

Take it for whatever that could mean. Gossip? Could be.

Maybe its an issue with the way dual laser projectors calibrate between one another. Im not sure.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1393
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 04-15-2018 07:41 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I will note that about half of AMC’s “Titanic” HDR shows in their Dolby auditoriums were 3D. I was about halfway through accidentally buying a ticket to one before realizing the show was 3D.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10727
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 04-16-2018 11:14 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Some other thoughts on Ready Player One: did anyone feel like they had seen some of this movie before in Scott Pilgrim Saves the World? One specific similarity was virtual characters exploding into coins when killed.

The movie's douchey villain, Sorrento (played by Ben Mendelsohn) had an equally douchey avatar. At first glance the avatar looks like a twisted version of Superman, complete with the spit curl on his forehead. I think he seems more inspired by Bernie Wrightson's Captain Sternn comic book character seen in publications like Heavy Metal (including the 1980's animated movie).

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Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2016
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 04-16-2018 11:51 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I thought the villain's appearance was modelled on the guy from the Sin City movies. [Confused]

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1393
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 04-16-2018 03:50 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Some other thoughts on Ready Player One: did anyone feel like they had seen some of this movie before in Scott Pilgrim Saves the World? One specific similarity was virtual characters exploding into coins when killed.
Oh hell I wish I'd thought of that.

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Dennis Benjamin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1429
From: Denton, MD
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 04-16-2018 06:55 PM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Read the book. It is a thousand times better.

As a Rush (the band) fan, I was disappointed in a major plot change from the book to the movie (the location of the Crystal Key).

I made sure to read the book before I saw the film and was disappointed by the film.

The book was not a rip off of anything, but the way the film was made I could see someone comparing it to Tron (I am a huge fan of all that is Tron).

So, in closing, READ THE BOOK.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1393
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 04-17-2018 08:06 AM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Dennis Benjamin
Read the book. It is a thousand times better.
No. Books are stupid.

From what I've heard, most fans of the book think the movie is actually better and fixes things they didn't like in the book. This includes my niece, who is wise and agile.

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